State Purchases 81 Acre Preservation Easement in St. Mary's

ANNAPOLIS (June 25, 2010) – On Wednesday the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW) approved the preservation of an 81-acre parcel in the McIntosh Run Watershed in central St. Mary’s County.

The 81-acre parcel in the McIntosh Run Watershed is part of the Lower Potomac River Drainage System that drains into the Chesapeake Bay. Protection of this property will safeguard wildlife habitat, including an active nest of threatened bald eagles and 12 State-listed and protected plant species. It will also conserve forest land and protect a half-mile stretch along an important tributary known as McIntosh Run.

Funding for this easement was provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through which DNR secured a $133,668 Recovery Land Acquisition Grant.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is very pleased to be working with the Department of Natural Resources and the Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust on the Rowland project,” said Dan Murphy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The Rowland property is a very important acquisition due to the presence of the federally-endangered Dwarf Wedge Mussel in McIntosh Run — a fresh water stream on the property. The USFWS is contributing funding for the acquisition of the parcel, and a management arrangement will be implemented to steward the property for protection of the Dwarf Wedge Mussel, and for passive hiking."

The parcel is located within the designated Potomac Focus Area and Target Ecological Area and has received a high ecological ranking of 109 under the Program Open Space Targeting System.

The three-member Board of Public Works is composed of Governor O’Malley (chair), Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. The BPW is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurement actions.

Since 2007, the BPW preserved more than 28,544 acres of natural areas for public recreation and watershed and wildlife protection across Maryland. Since 1969, Program Open Space has provided funding for acquisition of 349,257 acres for open space and recreation areas. Most Maryland residents live within 15 minutes of an open space or recreational area funded Program Open Space.

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